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[Publically-funded body] warns the government that budget cuts will affect services

Discussion in 'Serious' started by cjmUK, 15 Sep 2010.

  1. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    So the Police are warning of impact of cuts in their sector...
    The armed forces' leaders are warning of the impact of cuts in their sector...
    The unions are warning of the impact of cuts in their sector...
    The headteachers and school administrators are warning of the impact of cuts in their sector...
    The NHS administrators are warning of the impact of cuts in their sector...
    Charities are warning of the impact of cuts in the welfare sector...
    Etc...

    We all recognised before the election that that there were no pennies in the kitty and that we couldn't keep spending more and more money that we haven't got. Yet when it comes to the crunch, although everyone still acknowledges that action needs to be taken, everyone one seems to think that everyone else should bear the burden.

    Well, I'm warning of the impact of cuts in my personal sector - unless we be more responsible now, I'll be paying off Gordon's legacy for the rest of my life.

    The cuts have to come from somewhere... Perhaps the police/army/unions/LEAs/NHS/etc should all nominate which other part of the public sector should actually bear their portion of the cuts...
     
  2. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    YMMV. The public sector could do with being more efficient in how it spends and applies its resources, but they exist for a reason. If you want to get a picture of what life would look like without them, take a peek across the pond where health care is decidedly privately funded (except that in a way it isn't, because nobody can afford it any more), and people take a decidedly DIY approach to home and personal security.

    Over here, education is already halfway there too. But perhaps you don't have kids yet, and you managed to get your education in before the crunch, so you don't notice so much.

    Where I'm going is that public sector services are not like some costly luxury. Their employees are not living off our money; they are not some elaborate governmental sheltered work scheme for people who can't cut it in the real world. We actually get something from these services. We benefit from them.

    My colleague casually mentioned to me how his banker relative earns seven times the annual salary that we make. We treat cancer patients. His relative does, well, nothing that is particularly relevant to society (except perhaps work up the next credit crunch). And he is about to get a raise. Well, if he ever gets cancer he can at least afford the treatment. You and I, we would not be able to. Luckily, we pay NI contributions to fund the NHS.

    There has been a lot of bleating in the news recently about how public sector workers earn more than private sector workers. Here is the small print: a large proportion of this is accounted for by their pension schemes. Private sector workers who are in a pension scheme also actually earn more than their public sector counterparts. And those the top of their profession earn more in the private sector than their public sector counterparts.

    Sure, we all have to cut back. But before you complain, consider whether those pennies you save in taxes may be paid for more dearly in other ways.
     
  4. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I work in education. When people ask what I make, I say "I make a difference".


    The conversation usually ends there.
     
  5. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    something i posted in another thread but might fit in here as food for thought


    Lets face it, the rich stay rich, and poor stay poor and there is nothing that can be done. If Bob Geldof really gave a dam about suffering in Africa he would have given every penny he has to the charity, living in a council house driving a 20 year old ford escort. But guess what he doesn't give a dam, it benefits his public image as a philanthropist.

    A population such as ours needs the size of public services to keep it supported, if you downscale the services you must therefore downscale the population to keep the system balanced, not that its balanced as it is.

    It wasn't just Brown that got us into this mess, Blair and his new labour combined with the Thatcher years to encourage the financial sector to boom in London to the out of control monster it is.


    Lets not forget that in 1858 all the Politicians left the houses of parliament due the stench coming from the Thames, this wasn't an over night problem they didn't do anything about it, and when it got to bad, they simple moved up to Oxford. They turned there back upon the problem, and in many respects government has done the same with banking. It got out of hand, and they didn't want to deal with it until it was too late, and now there is no way out. Oh the ones that could have done something have profited out of in some way or other, got themselves a little nest egg for them and there family for a few decades, any children will enter the same life as there parents, all the right schools and then businesses. Silver spoon in there mouth.
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Bob Geldoff does actually believe in what he is doing (he is too informed about the problem not to care). Besides, why else would he bother? As you say: he is rich. He is beyond judgement by the likes of you and me.

    Bob just has boundaries. We don't give up all our worldly goods to charity --even if our riches are much more modest, they are as valuable to us. But he can use his celebrity as a renewable resource to raise more aid. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
     
  7. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    ok, maybe i was unfair towards bob but at times he seems like he is doing it for his personal publicity.

    Nexxo, your potentially in a direct firing line of these cuts. How do you think it will effect the NHS?

    Why do they train new nurses, only to employee international nurses, reason i ask is my Girl friend will be a newly qualified band 5 this October and was one of the luck few to get a secure job already on a ward she likes.
     
  8. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    We are all in the firing of these cuts. The public sector has had it too good for too long, so it's the fatted calf that gets sacrificed when the government needs to make cuts - which it definitely needs now.

    Nothing wrong with a vibrant financial sector, but it dod go to far. Just like the BSE crisis when we found out that cows were fed other dead cows, and we were like 'WTF??'. Some of the ridiculous practices of the financial sector (essentially playing pass-the-parcel with toxic debt, and hoping it doesn't stop on your bank) were amazing. The de-regulation that partially allowed it has been supported by successive governments, but equally it was this that allowed the financial boom in the first place.

    The problem was that the budget surpluses from the mid-Blair years was pissed up the wall on welfare benefits, social re-engineering, quangos and other wasteful projects. Instead of paying off debts and building up a slush fund, the government spend like it was going out of fashion, borrowing more and more... and not to invest to in projects that would reap a dividends, No they spent it on illegal wars, and welfare benefits instead.

    Like all good things, reasonably-relaxed financial regulation should have been taken in moderation. But if we'd been more responsible as a nation ourselves, the banking implosion would not have been felt so harshly.

    Having had extensive experience working in the public sector, I know that public sector budget heads get the picture, even if they don't like to admit it. In the public sector, you have a budget. In general, you cannot exceed that budget - no matter how worthwhile the cause or how good the value. The public sector body called the UK, has a budget of X - not matter how worthwhile the projects may be, the country cannot spend more that X (like it has been doing for the last 10 years). It also has a huge debt of Y, and interest payments for Y, further chip into budget X. The amount of money we required to run the country properly is Z - unfortunately Z > (X - interest from Y).

    So we either keep borrowing to pay our debts, or we cut back on out-goings to reduce Z. This means we trim the fat, but even that won't be enough, so we are going to have to lose so real, valuable public services or benefits.

    He generates wealth that pays for the NHS. Enough to justify such a huge salary? I'm not so sure myself. But the argument is that if we screw over the bankers, we won't even have a decent financial sector to fall back on.

    Does this mean that we let the bankers get away with murder - very probably, however galling it would be. The bankers will never pay for their sins because they still earn us too much money.

    Tosh.

    Some public sector workers are still screwed. Some are vastly over-compensated, like the Police and the Fire Brigade. I was going to include the Armed forces who also get some gold-plated perks, but it would be unfair because we all don't have to face IEDs in Helmand.

    In my field and in my region, public sector salaries are equal (in general) to the private sector, but the hours are shorter, the perks are greater and the pensions are far more generous... And since 2008, my companies have shed staff, to balance the books following a 50-70% drop in sales (since the supply chains used up their old stock). This year, we are almost back to normal and are hiring again. We faced the bullet at the right time, as did so many other private sector companies. Why the hell should we take all the pain?

    If a tramp has no money, you can't argue with them that it is more cost effective to eat fruit and vegetables now to save a fortune in healthcare costs later. The fact is the tramp has no money and no choice.

    As a nation (like many others) we have no money and thus no choice. Sure we can try to keep borrowing, getting our credit-worthiness downgraded, intervention from the IMF and essentially locking our childrens generation into a lifetime of debt.

    We are broke, so something has to give. the private sector has already felt the pain, now it is the time for the public sector to do its bit. By all means, argue that one budget (health/education/defence/welfare/military/science/arts/etc) is more important than another, but don't pretend that everyone can dodge the bullet because the can't.

    Somebody has to pay.
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Actually he doesn't. The financial sector is based on invalid, self-serving premises. Shareholders don't get rich --executives do. The rest of the economy gets the crumbs in the shape of loans they have to repay at a healthy interest.

    They don't. A decent analogy would be to think of them as our drug dealer. In the end they make profit from keeping us believing that they are the only ones who can cater to our needs.

    Seriously: do bankers need such high salaries and bonuses? In the end they have abilities that are not that special. I see brighter people operating on patients every day for considerably less money. But there is this myth that a financial bonus incentive increases performance, so a huge bonus increases performance hugely. This is actually not true --as we have seen by the recent performance of the financial sector. But the myth persists: "We have to pay people these salaries otherwise they'd go elsewhere and we wouldn't make such profits".

    First: that's tosh. In terms of talent, most of those people are a dime a dozen. Everyone with half a decent brain can work in finances (you don't even have to have a head for numbers, as such) and there would be plenty more capable people ready to fill their post. Secondly, research shows that their work performance is only marginally related to any profits made. Third, profits for who? I haven't got richer. Neither have share holders --most business shares have dropped in value. Neither has society. All we've had is bigger lines of credit, but at the end of the day we still had to repay that credit. And the banks made good money out of that --why do you think they were so aggressively marketing credit cards?

    A nice example of how the City has the UK economy at heart was Black Wednesday in 1992. The UK lost tons of money trying to defend the Pound Sterling --which was heavily exploited by currency speculators short-selling the Pound. That day, when everyone worried about the UK currency we saw scenes of City brokers partying in the wine bars, champagne flowing, because they had made a mint. George Soros, the most high profile of the currency market investors, made over US$1 billion profit by short selling sterling. So much for the Thatcherite doctrine that "What's good for the City is good for the UK".

    Bankers get paid so much because essentially they influence the flow of money. Hence it makes sense to influence it straight into their bank accounts and tell the rest of the world a story about how they really deserve it because they are so special and they make us all rich. Wrong on both counts. Don't think of the huge amounts of money it made as profit. Profit is making (a bit) more than you put in. Think of it as redistribution in the wrong direction. The financial sector is supposed to redistribute wealth to businesses and people in the shape of loans, so they can do things that keep the economy rolling along. Out of that profit is made and some of that is repaid as interest to the financial sector. Everybody wins. But the financial sector has been lending out at huge interest and been selling on the (false) promise of profit as if it was a real thing. Other financial institutions, shareholders and lender got scammed; they got stuck with empty promises while the sellers stockpiled the money and ran. And then the governments had to step in and make good on the empty promises left behind. Which means, in reality, that we, the tax payers have to.

    Officially I work 37 hours a week. In reality I do more like 42-45. My medical colleagues can do up to 60. I see twice the number of patients I am contracted to. We don't get paid extra for this. This year we are seeing a 50% cut in budget but we are still required to see (probably more) sick people. I am functioning at Consultant grade but don't get consultant pay. It took me 15 years to get my own desk and I am unlikely to ever have my own office.

    We accept it is part of the reality of working in the NHS. The NHS works because there are people at the coal face who will do whatever it takes to make it work, because generally they care.

    Now I'm not getting into the argument of who has it tougher, the public or private sector --there are pro's and cons to working in either and in the end we're all screwed. We need private manufacturing, agriculture and enterprise as much as we need health, education and policing.

    What we don't need nearly as much as they'd have us believe is the financial sector. It is there to lend us money so we can do business, make a profit and repay some of that profit as interest on the loans. The financial sector has been lousy at lending responsibly so now we're in the ****. It failed at its job, and now it has been bailed out it continues to fail by hardly lending at all. Meanwhile it makes profits that are unjustifiable and keeps them to itself instead of sharing them with the shareholders or savers who, after all, are lending the financial sector their money so it can do business, make a profit and pay some of that profit back in interest to the shareholders/savers. There is something wrong with the economy allright, and it is the financial sector.

    Let's start with the banking sector. They seem to have all the money. Call their bluff and let them walk out if they feel unappreciated. See how quickly there will be just as capable people happy to fill their posts for much less. And while we're at it, let's cut Tony's pension to reclaim some of the costs his little peccadilloes in Iraq and Afghanistan have incurred (and why are we still there?). It may not cover much but it feels like the right thing to do.
     
    Last edited: 16 Sep 2010
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  10. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    I'm all for this... not in a spiteful and malevolent way, but it seems just - and when every penny counts, these would count just as well.

    I understand that we couldn't just let the banking system collapse, but as it stands, the entire sector has got off scott-free. The ridiculous bonuses and pay levels are generally back up to 2007 levels again - according to the news this week. Rather than taking shares in a bank, we should have taken the whole bank. And perhaps *some* banks should have been left to fail.

    However, even then, we still need to do a lot more to balance the books. And that is where the public sector comes in.

    PS. In my job, I work extra hours every week, every year. We all do it to a greater or lesser extent. What is more, in 2009, whoever survived redundancy 'volunteered' to work a certain number of days for free. Consequently, all of our manufacturing subsidiaries (yes, manufacturing in the UK!) have full order books (as the supply chain restocks) and are all recruiting again.

    It was difficult for the management to cull people in 2008/9 but they did what was necessary and they did it early. Consequently, the companies are all safe, and are best positioned to take advantage in the improving conditions - and that is reaping rewards for the staff and the local economies.

    With a few exceptions, the public sector has barely felt the pinch (beyond fluctuating house prices and expensive food!).
     
  11. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    People working in public funded institutions (Health care, education etc) always make me feel selfish, because they care enough to take a lower paying job to help people, and I don't.

    However, the Government penny pinching.

    It'd be absurd to say it won't affect publicly funded institutions, because from what I can tell, they're already working over capacity. It's equally absurd for an institution to expect to be left out of the cutting process. NHS, for example, are over worked, but I'd be very surprised if every penny of their budget was well spent.

    I don't, however, know what to say. It's another one of those topics where I can see there is an issue, but cannot decide how to think about the issue.
     
  12. dangerman1337

    dangerman1337 Member

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    The problem is not every janitor, carer, bus driver and their dog is the problem, its the fact that there are a LOAD of managers with werid seemingly pointless positions but to most people they glance over it and assume its important due to its name just like all the QUANGOs they could cut a lot and frontline services wouldn't be effected but for some reason...

    As the saying goes truth is stranger than fiction.

    EDIT: Nexxo, a good bloody point about the bankers who control OUR MONEY, people go "oh well money isn't everything" what happens when YOUR paying of a loan and all for some reason your money becomes less worth and eventually is competeting against the Zimbawbean dollar.

    Infact IIRC the monteray system is engineered towards bankers so instead of taking their money take their power away into the public and give them less control over our currency and let them use their own.
     
    Last edited: 16 Sep 2010
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Agreed: screw them all and let the god of Market Forces sort them out. Those banks that need to survive should have been nationalised, which would have put strict conditions on pay and bonuses. The very fact that the last government omitted to kill bonuses as a condition of bail-out arrangements shows that politicians, too, are not that bright or special.

    Speaking for the NHS, we've been feeling it, all right. I won't tell you the stories about severely understaffed wards or how last year we hit the expected hospital winter burden capacity limits in September. Hospitals, like banks, cannot afford to fail so you don't see them going into bankrupcy. But that does not mean we're not stretched and staff is not being laid off.

    You are right. I think the NHS does spend its money inefficiently.

    It is a game by bankers, for bankers. Personally I'd have let most of them go to the wall and nationalised the ones we really needed. All your assets are belong to us.
     
  14. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    There is another side to this equation, and it's not a zero-sum game.

    If you raise taxes on, say the financial sector, and anyone making over, say, a million pounds a year, plus a healthy capital gains tax, you could do a lot to balance the budget.

    The biggest chunk of the US debt came not from excessive expenditures, but because Bush cut taxes on the wealthy. Of the current 13 trillion debt, 8 Trillion of that was the Bush tax cuts, and another trillion was the wars. Tax policy, and by extension revenue, is also a part of the budget equation. Could the government be run more efficiently? Sure, and that needs to happen as well, but we also need to realize that a given level of services requires a given amount of revenue and that cutting taxes without cutting services = debt.
     
  15. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

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    I think most of this is a load of crap.

    They cut the services that we feel are important first, because then it will scare people into supporting tax increases. My city had to cut its budget, so they laid off emergency services.

    Yesterday, an angry mob of police officers were protesting police layoffs. Our city is ridiculously corrupt. There are city employees who have died and still get monthly paychecks. Our last mayor was arrested by the FBI after rigging the elections and accepting bribes before he could even be sworn into office. There are dead people who vote in every election. "Pay to Play" - making campaign contributions in return for being awarded no-bid contracts - is a way of life.

    The amount of money saved by laying off the police is miniscule compared to the amount of money being wasted by a corrupt bureaucracy.

    But, if you say "We're cutting the budget, and we're going to get rid of corruption and incompetent bureaucracy" - nobody can oppose it. Everyone will vote to do that, because it makes sense, and then the mayor has to fire his nephew.

    On the other hand, if you say "We're cutting police officers" - people will oppose it. People want a strong police force so they feel safe, and there's a good chance that most people will vote against it. Then the mayor doesn't have to fire anybody, and no one can complain about the city going into debt because we voted not to cut the budget.

    ofc, not everyone else lives in Hudson County, the most corrupt county in the world.
     
  16. dangerman1337

    dangerman1337 Member

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    Define "wealthy".
     
  17. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    Just slightly richer than the person doing the definition.
     
  18. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    The financial sector counts for 10% of our GDP Nexxo. Just because you're average person doesn't have a clue about the difference between pension management, hedge funds, and mergers and aquisitions, doesn't mean that they're all guilty because they're all "bankers". You really want to push the majority of the financial sector away? That's fine, the lost government income could be made up for by entirely cutting the NHS. The whole thing.

    It's so popular to bash the rich now, but the top 10-20% earners of this country are vital to it's success. They're the only group which actually contribute more tax than they utilise in services, they contribute a massive amount of tax on money they earn, and they work in industries and sectors that earn the government significant portions of it's total income.
     
  19. dangerman1337

    dangerman1337 Member

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    I'm not against the fact people are wealthy (heh if your're successful i'm fine and good for you but if you're controlling our money, GTFO) but its the fact that the Banking higher ups have a good stranglehold on our currency, which means if they screw up the value of our currency by printing to much notes, we could even end up competing against the god forsaken zimbawebean Dollar if that happens so yeah its more than them being rich its the fact if that they screw up this country goes down the gutter.

    This is why our currency (and the american dollar) have lost its value, if they kept the gold standard this probably wouldn't of happend (at least america has a good amount of gold unlike us who which everyone's favourite bigot basher sold of over ten years ago :rolleyes:).

    But you are correct about taxing the wealthy and succesful (through bussiness, and selling products and not mucking with our money) yes they should be taxed the same percentage as lower paid.

    Then again it depends on the term "wealthy", if anything they should fire most of our beaurcrats and reform the way the government works.
     
  20. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    They way it played out in the real world was individuals making over $250,000 USD a year, and that is the specific provision being fought over by the congress now.

    And for the record, I'd be happy to pay higher taxes, especially if those taxes were used to drive social change that I approve of, such as gas and carbon taxes.
     

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